Los Angeles Preps: Allan Stubbs

I.E.: Games of the Week

November, 3, 2011
11/03/11
3:37
PM PT
As the regular season winds down to the last couple of weeks, reality begins to set in for a lot of teams. Some can see the finish line in the race to a league title, while others are just hoping to hang on to that last automatic playoff spot. Here are the games that have the most meaning in the I.E. this week.

A-Game

(Inland Empire rankings included)

Heritage (7-1, 3-0) at Elsinore (7-1, 3-0), Friday (7 p.m.) – Heritage beat Elsinore for the Sunbelt League title last season, 40-19, but it was Elsinore that went on to win the Eastern Division title, the program's first Southern Section championship in 83 years. Elsinore relies heavily on its run game and is loaded with players who occupied key roles in the latest postseason run. Tight end/linebacker Nolan Peralta was the league's defensive MVP last season and running backs/defensive backs Allan Stubbs and Daniel Rodriguez have combined for 2,067 rushing yards. Heritage has its own 1,000-yard rusher in junior Jamal Morrow, and one of the area's most punishing two-way players in fullback/linebacker Tony Hifo.

Calpreps.com computerized projection: Heritage 27, Elsinore 26

ESPNLA: Elsinore 24, Heritage 21

B-List

Murrieta Valley (7-1, 3-0) at No. 3 Vista Murrieta (3-5, 3-0), Friday (7 p.m.) – Though this rivalry is just a few years old, it has already produced some memorable upsets on both sides. In just its second season in the Southwestern League, Vista Murrieta beat the Nighthawks in 2005 to deny them the league title. Three years later, Murrieta Valley returned the favor with a 10-3 upset, its only victory against the Broncos in six meetings. The Nighthawks will need a huge game from quarterback Andrew Blake. He delivered last week, throwing for 402 yards and three touchdowns in a 34-6 victory against Murrieta Mesa. Of course, Vista Murrieta is no Murrieta Mesa and Su'a Cravens isn't your typical team MVP. Cravens is a junior strong safety and running back who's a game changer for the Broncos on both sides of the ball, and Oregon-bound defensive end Jeremy Castro holds down the line.

Calpreps.com: Vista Murrieta 34, Murrieta Valley 7

ESPNLA: Vista Murrieta 35, Murrieta Valley 20

Los Osos (6-2, 3-0) at No. 2 Upland (8-0, 3-0), Friday (7 p.m.) – Los Osos is the last hurdle for Upland in its bid to win win the Baseline League title outright and secure a top four seeding for the postseason. Don't expect the Grizzlies to roll over and play dead, however. They might be one of the most underrated teams in the I.E.. Los Osos beat Etiwanda by seven points two weeks ago, the same margin that Upland defeated Etiwanda and better than Vista Murrieta, Rancho Cucamonga and Norco. Look for some good battles in the trenches between Los Osos offensive tackle Dylan La Frenz, who committed to Arizona State last week, and Upland defensive lineman Christian Powell, who is scheduled to take an official recruiting trip to Nebraska this weekend.

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I.E.: A closer look at the Sunbelt League

August, 22, 2011
8/22/11
9:07
PM PT
SUNBELT LEAGUE

Last season’s results: Romoland Heritage (11-1, 5-0); Elsinore (12-2, 4-1); Lake Elsinore Temescal Canyon (6-5, 3-2); Menifee Paloma Valley (4-6, 2-3); Lake Elsinore Lakeside (1-9, 1-4); Perris (1-9, 0-5).

Players to watch: After knocking off Fontana Summit last December in the SS-Eastern Division final to win the program’s first section title in the school’s 83-year history, Elsinore is in good position to make it two in a row. The Tigers return four of their best defenders from last season, led by senior tight end and linebacker Nolan Peralta, the Eastern Division defensive player of the year. Peralta, the son of coach Tony Peralta, was the team’s second-leading tackler and receiver last season. Also returning are a pair of all-Eastern Division defensive backs, Allan Stubbs and Daniel Rodriguez, and the team’s leading tackler, linebacker Jose Banda. Rodriguez also emerged as a valuable running back late last season, combining for 303 rushing yards and three touchdowns in the final two playoff victories. After beating the Tigers in Sunbelt League play, Heritage lost to Summit in the section semifinals. Heritage returns senior quarterback Chad Virgil and junior running back Jamaal Morrow, who rushed for 731 yards and eight touchdowns while spelling Scott Benson last season. Morrow will be asked to do a lot this season, as he was also one of the team’s top defensive players while patrolling the secondary a year ago. He’ll team nicely with one of the division’s top defensive players, senior linebacker Tony Hifo, a returning all-Eastern Division pick. The next biggest challenger for the league title is Paloma Valley. The Wildcats return the Eastern Division’s second-leading passer last season, senior Logan Tutwiler, who threw for 2,022 yards and 18 touchdowns. He should benefit from having his two favorite targets back this season. Anthony Johnston led the league with 937 receiving yards and scored nine touchdowns, and Patrick Santhavisouk was second in the league with 461 yards and six touchdowns. On defense, Nico Caramella led the league with six interceptions. Temescal Canyon will try to win games on the ground behind running back Michael Shepherd, who rushed for a league-leading 1,887 yards and scored 21 touchdowns. Lakeside also returns their top rusher in Ryan Byrd, who totaled 1,112 yards and 13 touchdowns, as well as junior quarterback Dakota Wilson.

Projected order of finish: Elsinore, Heritage, Paloma Valley, Temescal Canyon, Lakeside, Perris.

Key games: Sept. 2 – Fontana A.B. Miller @ Lakeside; Sept. 16 – Perris vs. Moreno Valley Canyon Springs @ Moreno Valley HS; Sept. 23 – Moreno Valley Rancho Verde @ Heritage, Temecula Valley @ Elsinore; Sept. 30 – Paloma Valley @ Temecula Valley; Oct. 14 – Temescal Canyon @ Heritage; Oct. 21 – Heritage @ Paloma Valley, Temescal Canyon @ Elsinore; Oct. 28 – Paloma Valley @ Temescal Canyon; Nov. 4 – Heritage @ Elsinore; Nov. 10 – Elsinore @ Paloma Valley.

Fast fact: The new coach at Lakeside this season is Kitrick Taylor, who previously assisted at Lakeside, Pomona High School and Chaffey College. He's probably best known, however, for catching Brett Favre's first game-winning touchdown pass in the NFL. Taylor was a member of the Green Bay Packers in September 1992, when he caught a 35-yard touchdown pass from Farve with 13 seconds left, lifting Green Bay to a 24-23 victory against the Cincinnati Bengals. It was also the first victory for Mike Holmgren as an NFL head coach.

On the clock: Sunkist League.

Inland Empire: Corona Centennial highlights Inland Division selections

January, 27, 2011
1/27/11
8:34
PM PT
The All-Southern Section 11-man football teams were released Thursday and, as expected, Corona Centennial had several players representing the Inland Division.

The Huskies had five players selected to the 22-man offensive team, including quarterback Michael Eubank, the division’s offensive player of the year.

Eubank, who is expected to sign with Arizona State next week, threw for 2,831 yards and 22 touchdowns while leading Centennial to the Inland Division title and a Division I state bowl berth. Eubank also ran for 1,329 yards and 19 touchdowns.

Centennial defensive back Chris Gonzalez was named the division’s defensive player of the year over San Diego State-bound teammate and leading tackler, linebacker Ryan Jack. Gonzalez led the Huskies with seven interceptions and was second on the team in tackles. Milo Jordan, a junior lineman and top recruit for next year, was the other Centennial player selected to the defensive team.

Matt Logan completed the sweep for Centennial, winning coach of the year honors.

Inland Division runner-up Vista Murrieta had six selections and semifinalists Rancho Cucamonga and Chino Hills had five each.

Among the notable players not selected was Chaparral receiver Antoine Arnold, last season's co-offensive player of the year. Arnold played in all but two games this season but his numbers dropped significantly as the offense struggled to get him the ball. Corona defensive end DeVante Wilson, who is expected to sign with USC next week, did not return to the defensive team.

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